Brokerage

Keller Williams launching new benefits platform in time for ‘Obamacare’

Co-branded version of ConnectedHealth’s Web platform will let associates see if they qualify for subsidies

Franchisor Keller Williams Realty Inc. has selected ConnectedHealth as its e-commerce benefits platform, which will allow U.S.-based Keller Williams associates to shop for health care through a co-branded version of ConnectedHealth’s Web platform in time for the launch of “Obamacare.”

The KW Wellness Benefits Marketplace is expected to launch in December, the companies said, helping Keller Williams associates navigate the new complexities of health benefits.

Associates logging onto the platform will be able to determine whether they are eligible for a government subsidy, and can shop and apply for subsidy-eligible insurance. Associates that don’t qualify for government subsidies can access a range of medical and ancillary insurance with national and regional companies.

By selecting ConnectedHealth’s consumer-focused solution, “Keller Williams Realty provides their associates the support and guidance to feel confident that they have selected the right coverage for themselves and their families,” the companies said.

Beginning Jan. 1, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” — requires that all individuals have minimum health coverage, or pay a penalty (officially called a “shared responsibility payment”) that will be phased in over the next few years. The penalty will be phased in over the next few years.

For 2014, the penalty is just $95, Inman News columnist Stephen Fishman has noted, and individuals who don’t have other coverage will be able to purchase coverage through state insurance exchanges. Lower-income individuals earning up to four times the federal poverty level will will be able to obtain tax credits to help pay for their coverage.

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The National Association of Realtors has launched a “Realtors Health Insurance Marketplace” as a one-stop online shop for health insurance needs.

Inman News columnist Teresa Boardman, a broker in St. Paul, Minn., says NAR’s insurance marketplace is worth a look. Boardman plans to compare the rates and benefits of plans offered through NAR’s marketplace with programs offered through Minnesota’s health exchange.